61 Michigan schools to receive new drinking fountains thanks to $200K program

OKEMOS, Mich. (WLUC) - Sixty-one schools across Michigan will soon receive new water fountains/bottle filling stations, thanks to $200,000 in funding from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and MESSA. In all, 95 water fountains/bottle filling stations will be installed.

The schools are winners of MESSA and DDF’s “Rethink Your Drink: Water’s Cool at School program,” designed to encourage children to drink more water during the school day. (The list of winners follows this press release.)

“Drinking water throughout the school day is key to staying focused and energized,” said Teri Battaglieri, Delta Dental Foundation director. “Not only are sugar-sweetened beverages like pop and juice drinks bad for your teeth, they can contribute to other health issues such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. We want more students to have access to drinking water during the day so they can keep their teeth and bodies strong and healthy.”

MESSA Executive Director Ross Wilson said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Delta Dental Foundation on this important program. MESSA is committed to supporting education employees as they look to improve their own health while modeling good examples for their students.”

Winning schools will have old drinking fountains replaced with Elkay water fountain/bottle filling stations by Oak Park-based Balfrey & Johnston. The winners will also receive reusable water bottles for students and staff.

More than 600 schools applied for the program, and winners were selected based on several criteria, including age and condition of their current drinking fountains, creativity of their applications, percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and geographic location.

The Water’s Cool at School program was piloted at Okemos Public Montessori at Central in September 2016. Within the first month, students increased their water consumption and saved more than 2,200 empty water bottles from going into a landfill.

About Delta Dental Foundation: The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public and to advancing dental science through education and research. For more information, visit www.deltadentalmi.com.

About MESSA: MESSA is a not-for-profit membership association that provides health and ancillary benefit plans to teachers, education support professionals, school administrators and higher education employees throughout Michigan. MESSA places a strong emphasis on member education, wellness and preventive care to reduce the cost of health care while supporting its members’ good health. More information at messa.org.

2018 “Rethink Your Drink” winners: (U.P. schools are listed in bold text)
Alcona Elementary, Middle and High Schools, Lincoln
Arborwood Elementary Campus, Monroe
Athens High School, Troy
Atlantis High School, Flint
Attwood Elementary School, Lansing
Bangor High School, Bangor
Beech Elementary School, Redford Township
Blesch Intermediate School, Menominee
Bridgeport High School, Bridgeport Township
Bullock Creek Elementary School, Midland
Carrollton High School, Saginaw
Chatterton Middle School, Warren
Chippewa Valley High School, Clinton Township
Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Detroit
Dudley STEM Elementary School, Battle Creek
Eau Claire High School, Eau Claire
Escuela Avancemos Academy, Detroit
Ford Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti
Gier Elementary School, Hillsdale
Harrison Middle School, Harrison
Hatherly Educational Center, Warren
Holden Elementary School, Warren
Inland Lakes Elementary School, Indian River
International Academy at Hull, Benton Harbor
Ionia Middle School, Ionia
Johannesburg-Lewiston High School, Johannesburg
Kolb Elementary School, Bay City
Lake Shore High School, Saint Clair Shores
Lincoln Elementary School, Zeeland
Lockwood Elementary School, Eaton Rapids
Luther L. Wright School, Ironwood
Mesick Jr./Sr. High School, Mesick
Montrose Hill-McCloy High School, Montrose
Moon School, Muskegon
Morrish Elementary School, Swartz Creek
Mt. Morris Middle School, Mt. Morris
Muskegon Middle School, Muskegon
North Elementary School, Birch Run
Northwest Elementary School, Howell
Novi Meadows Fifth Grade, Novi
Orchard View Middle School, Muskegon
Ottawa Elementary School, Buchanan
Owen Elementary School, Pontiac
Pierce Middle School, Redford Township
Pinconning Central Elementary School, Pinconning
Pittsfield Elementary School, Ann Arbor
Pittsford Area Schools, Pittsford
Reese Elementary School, Reese
Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School, Cassopolis
Schwarzkoff Elementary School, Sterling Heights
Shawmut Hills School, Grand Rapids
South Bendle Elementary School, Burton
Southwest Community Campus, Grand Rapids
Surline Middle School, West Branch
Sycamore Elementary School, Delhi Township
Union City High School, Union City
Walker-Winter Elementary School, Westland
Warren Woods Middle School, Warren
Webb Elementary School, Hazel Park
West Bloomfield High School, West Bloomfield Township
Woodward School for Technology and Research, Kalamazoo

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